Cumbria youth group pays tribute to global humanitarian and war hero Leonard Cheshire’s 100th birthday

3 March 2017

YouthAbility volunteer Sharon painting  YouthAbility Cumbria, an inclusive youth service run by leading charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, is taking on a raft of challenges in honour of the charity’s founder and war hero Leonard Cheshire’s 100th birthday.

This is part of the charity’s ‘100 for 100’ challenge, which launched this month.

The charity is calling on people to harness their creativity to do anything involving the number 100.

Pledges have already poured in, ranging from visiting 100 new places to eating as many crackers as possible in 100 seconds.

Other pledges include going on 100 walks, watching 100 Disney films, going to the gym 100 times, creating 100 pieces of art, and singing 100 karaoke songs.

Leslie McLeese, team leader at the charity’s youth service YouthAbility said:

‘We’ve had so many of the young people signing up.

‘Why I like this 100 for 100 challenge is that it involves everyone: our volunteers, staff and young people, bringing us all together as equals, in a fun and collective team.

‘Everyone gets to have an active part and express themselves through their 100 for 100.’

Some of the young people have teamed up with the volunteers at the service for their pledge, with challenges include taking 100 photos and learning 100 basic makaton signs.

One of the volunteers, 46-year-old Sharon Tait from Dalton in Furness, has pledged to do 100 pieces of art in 100 days.

She said:

‘I’m so used to encouraging creativity in others — in the past I’ve worked as an arts teacher, therapist and community worker — so it’s strange to turn the tables and challenge myself!

‘I’ve not been able, due to ongoing mental health problems, to express myself through art for many years now.

‘But I’ve pledged to create a piece of artwork each day for 100 days.

‘I’m aiming to enjoy every day learning something new, either expressively or by learning new skills and techniques, and hope that some of this inspiration will also flow to everyone at YouthAbility.

‘Without this challenge, I wouldn’t perhaps be re-exploring making art myself again!’

Sharon and all those taking on the challenge are sharing it on social media using the hashtag #100for100, tagging two friends to join the fun with their own #100for100 challenge.

Leonard Cheshire Disability hopes the diverse range of #100for100 challenges will reflect the diversity of disability.

It wants as many people as possible to take part, to raise awareness of Leonard Cheshire’s belief that disabled people should be able fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire would have been 100 years old in September this year, but sadly passed away in 1992 after almost half a century of humanitarian work supporting disabled people around the world.

Continuing his legacy, the charity currently runs care services globally, and also has specific projects to widen education and employment opportunities for disabled people.

Fundraising from #100for100 challenges will support the charity’s work in Cumbria, including funding for people to access activities, innovative equipment and therapies which would not be supplied by social care.

Participants can share their #100for100 challenge and find out more.

The charity is asking people to fundraise by asking friends and family to text CHALLENGE to 70313 to donate £3 to support their #100for100 efforts!

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